Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram

The Cleveland Cavaliers must consider whether it’s worth keeping their core as currently constructed. If they decide they need to improve their ceiling, trading Darius Garland could be in the cards.

If they put Garland on the market, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes proposed the following trade between the Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Cavaliers get: Brandon Ingram, Dyson Daniels, Jordan Hawkins

New Orleans Pelicans get: Garland and Jarrett Allen

Hughes explained why the Cavaliers would overhaul their roster like that.

“Dealing Allen and Garland would fundamentally change Cleveland’s makeup, breaking up its two-big frontcourt and two-small (also too small) backcourt. The reshaped result, which could include Daniels or Caris LeVert next to Mitchell, Ingram slotting in at forward, and Evan Mobley manning the 5, is far more balanced than the team we’ve seen over the last two years.”

Hughes added further why

“That would put a lot on Mobley’s plate, as he’d be the lone big in most lineups. But because so much of the Cavs’ ceiling depends on the 2021 No. 3 overall pick thriving at center, these added responsibilities were inevitable. It’s not unreasonable to ask more of Mobley in what’ll be his fourth season.”

In essence, if the trade improves the Cavalier roster’s fit, it could help them in the postseason. Ingram may not be one of the league’s best players, but he has made an All-Star team.

Teams Backing Off Darius Garland: Insider

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed that teams may not pursue Garland after Koby Altman declared the star guard unavailable. He gave the full details on ESPN Cleveland.

“As I am talking to executives out there in the league, Koby coming out and saying, ‘We ain’t trading ’em,’ has made an impact. There are now teams that are sort of backing off, saying, ‘Well, maybe Garland is not gonna be available,’” Windhorst said.

A lot can change over time. It may depend on whether the Cavaliers extend Donovan Mitchell or not. He and Garland have worked well enough together to get them to make two consecutive postseasons. However, they have only made the Eastern Conference Semifinals once and haven’t come close to the success they had with LeBron James.

It’s also possible that the Cavaliers would only trade Garland for a player who is better. Trading for Ingram could potentially serve as merely a lateral move. Teams who are interested in him may only want to give up draft assets and young players for him. Knowing the Cavaliers situation, they may not want that.

Brandon Ingram’s Contract Situation

If the Cavaliers were to trade Garland for Ingram, they must remember that Ingram’s contract is expiring. He will enter the last year of a five-year, $158 million contract.

To trade both Garland and Allen in the same deal where Ingram would be the main piece coming back, the Cavaliers would emphasize keeping Ingram past 2025.

Ingram has proven that he has talent but has struggled with injuries and has little playoff success to his name. The Pelicans have made the playoffs twice since they acquired him in 2019. Both times, they were eliminated in the first round.

Matt John covers the NBA for A Massachusetts native, he has covered the NBA since 2018, with stops at The Sporting News, FanSided, Basketball News and Basketball Insiders. More about Matt John

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